Dale McRaven, 'Mork and Mindy' and 'Perfect Strangers' Creator, Dead at 83

Dale McRaven, the Emmy-nominated television writer and creator of Mork & Mindy and Perfect Strangers, has died. McRaven passed away at his home in Porter Ranch, California on Monday, Sept. 5 of complications from lung cancer, his son, David McRaven, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter over the weekend. McRaven was 83.

Born in Pulaski, Illinois in March 1939, McRaven was raised in Chicago and Phoenix before he made his way to Hollywood in 1957. His first job in the entertainment industry came in 1963 when he, along with fellow writer Carl Kleinschmidt, was hired by late director Garry Marshall to be a writer on NBC's The Dick Van Dyke Show, according to Deadline. McRaven and Kleinschmidt earned a shared win for best episodic comedy at the 1966 WGA Awards. Together, they wrote eight more scripts during the final season of the show and went on to work together for The Odd Couple, Gomer Pyle, Bill Dana, and Hey Landlord.

McRaven and Kleinschmidt parted ways in 1974 when McRaven joined the ABC sitcom The Partridge Family as producer. He also wrote for Angie and The Betty White Show and created and sold his first original show, The Texas Wheelers, which only ran for eight episodes, during this time. McRaven went on to join Marshall on Mork & Mindy, a spinoff of Happy Days that starred Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. The series ran for four seasons from September 1978 through May 1982 and earned McRaven an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy series in 1979. That award ultimately went to ABC's Taxi. McRaven is also well-known for Perfect Strangers, the ABC sitcom from Miller-Boyett Productions and Lorimar Television that ran for eight seasons and 150 episodes.

His other credits include Get Smart, Room 222, Love, American Style, and The Betty White Show. Per Deadline, McRaven is credited "as being a star maker discovering Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Mark Hamill, Gary Busey, Bronson Pinchot, Mark Linn-Baker, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, among others." He retired from film and television in 1993, after which he focused on wildlife and landscape photography.


McRaven is survived by his son, David; his daughter, Renee; his daughter-in-law, Ruth; his nieces and nephews; his grandchildren, Justin Davis, Matthew McRaven and Nefertina Lizárraga; as well as his pet yorkie, The Mighty Kong. Variety reports he was buried at Turner & Stevens Live Oak Mortuary & Memorial Park in Monrovia, California.